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The perfectionist’s guide to getting a website developed – focus on progress over perfection

August 2, 2019

Do you self identify as a perfectionist? You’re not alone, many people find themselves in what can feel like an impossible situation – they want every project completed to an extremely high standard but within a set timeframe and budget.

Perfectionists find it especially hard to make decisions on developing a website because there are always more things that can be done, and lots of bells and whistles to choose from. Most businesses don’t have an open-ended budget for website design, so the focus has to be on progress over what you might perceive to be perfection (when in reality the constant tweaking and changing is probably not making much difference at all).

 

The good news is that a website absolutely should continue to change after it is launched, you just have to draw a line as to when enough is enough and get the thing live. So with a little perspective, you can ensure your quest for perfection results in a great site that launches on time and on budget – just remember to not sweat the small stuff like minute differences between two equally as good fonts.

Here are 7 things to remember when getting your website developed;

  1. Images can be changed later. This means you should choose good imagery for your site but it doesn’t have to be an image that will stay on the site indefinitely. In most cases changing images is a quick and easy job so there is no need to overthink which images are used. Just make sure you have a legal right to use them, that they are the right resolution, and that they are appropriate for the site. I can help you work all that out with my handy onboarding client that all new clients get.
  2. Text can be changed later. This goes alongside images being changed. If you want to change a single word or even a whole paragraph this is something that can be done pretty much at any time. You don’t have to have the words 100% perfect to launch a site, you are better to write something good enough rather than nothing at all. It isn’t obvious to most people if you have a sentence which you think is mediocre, but everyone can tell that you didn’t finish if you leave a page with “information coming soon” on it. Also, what does it say about your ability to finish a project and follow through on work? It’s not encouraging at all and I know I’ve personally avoiding businesses with sites just like that.
  3. The overall design you choose does matter and should be chosen carefully. Changing the aesthetic or layout of your website after your developer has started working on it can result in going beyond the initial scope of works and could result in delays and unanticipated costs. What may seem like a minor alteration can actually mean hours and hours of behind the scenes work. Better to get these details right before signing off the design. Similarly being clear on what you are looking for, before beginning the design phase, will help to ensure that the design meets your expectations. I will ask you lots of questions before we even get to that stage to make sure we nail the look.
  4. Friends and family can be great sounding boards, but remember that they may not represent your target audience. While their opinions will be worth hearing, it would be a mistake to let what they say make you second guess your own vision. If you’re looking for helpful feedback then existing customers and staff will often have more relevant insights into what works and what doesn’t. 
  5. In the modern world, we view websites on a wide range of screen sizes, using many different resolutions and browsers. What this means for perfectionists is that you cannot control exactly how a website will look in all circumstances. What you can do is work to have a site that is flexible enough to look great in most scenarios and still good on the less common ones. This means giving up a little control over the exact experience each user will have, but if you don’t do this then you will be disappointed anyway, new devices or browser updates can and will keep changing the way people view your site.
  6. High rankings on Google are not a set and forget formula. While you may want your brand new site to instantly appear and stay at the top of Google’s search results, unfortunately, your competitors also want this. There are many things that go into great Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and I have plenty of other blog posts on this subject. As a perfectionist what you need to remember is to give it time, keep updating your site, and follow current best practices to ensure you don’t sell yourself short. And remember that content is still king, regardless of what the latest marketing gurus might want to sell you.
  7. Your website developer is an expert, that’s why you’ve chosen them. Let them know what you want, be clear and concise, then let them get on with doing a great job for you. Most people do their best work if they feel trusted and empowered. This doesn’t mean you can’t have input but try to remember to let them show you a finished product rather than commenting before things are done to their satisfaction.  And a word of warning here, web designers are people too, they don’t like conflict and friction as much as the next person, so despite their best intentions to deliver a professional website, if they are completely micromanaged by a perfectionist client, it can be a demoralising experience, and inevitably they will give in to the client’s demands, even if it means the site might not deliver on usability and SEO friendliness.

That’s it for now, as a fellow perfectionist, I know I could keep revising this list indefinitely but I’d rather get on with helping you develop great websites that add value to your business.

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